Tuesday, September 3, 2013

of two unique birds

This is beautiful. When was the last time you saw an Eucharistic dove in a church? In the West, these were replaced by table top tabernacles centuries ago. These pictures are from St. Elias Melkite Catholic Church, Brooklyn Ohio. The parish is over an hundred years old, they moved to Brooklyn from Cleveland in 1963. The parish is Lebanese with old country neighbors the Syrians, Palestinians, and some other Arabic speaking peoples. Some have recently come to America from strife, danger and persecution in the homelands. Over the weekend they had their festival, and local television news WJW 8 and WEWS 5 came to talk to the priest about the serious situation in Syria.
Above the altar is a mural of Jesus as Pantocrator (Ruler of All), flanked by four angels, and then symbols for the four evangelists, starting from distant left and going clockwise. Often this depiction of Jesus would be on the inside of the dome, above the chandelier.
This was in number four position (distant right, close to the wall). Now, the symbol for John is an eagle. Generally, the upper part of a bird's torso has two wings. This eagle has one wing, and one arm. Only the wing has visible feathers. He is holding the gospel book with neither. His head is most un-raptor like. Tell me, if you had not known, what does this illustrated chimera resemble? He looks more aquatic than aeriel.

No comments:

Post a Comment